What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chalk It Up To Experience

Lara and I went to the High School to set up our booth on Friday evening.  We had been working about fifteen minutes-  setting up tables, getting out merchandise, chatting and admiring each others things when I noticed that all the organizers were sitting by the door.  Just sitting there.  I JOKINGLY said, "You guys aren't just here because of us, are you?"  Long..........long..........dramatic..........pause. "Weeeeeeeellllllll, it's okay," they said.  I was under the misguise that there would be LOTS of other people setting up.  I guess I was el wrongo.  So, we skedaddled out of there and went home to return the next morning to do the rest of the set up.  

When I got there Saturday morning, the room had filled up with lots of vendors.  But, I noticed that there were a lot of things like jewelry parties (*Cough* pyramid scheme! says Lara), Avon, Scentsy, Tupperware, Thirty One totes and the likes.  Now, there is nothing wrong with any of these companies, but it isn't what I was expecting there.  That's when I got a little worried.  Also, most of the vendors had a long table set up across the width of their area with some things scattered on the table.  That's was it.  

 Here is our area.  BOOM!  Color!  Appeal!  Something for EVERYONE!  Hand crafted - you got it.  Vintage - yes sir.  Attractive displays?  Uh huh.  Lots to look at!  Plenty to see!
 Let's look at Lara's side for a minute.  She makes these amazing wooden signs and trays with her new fancy tools.  She is SO talented!  She also had wonderful prints, handmade aprons and wooden Christmas trees.  
"HO HO HO ya'll."  

I loved all her colors and the pop of green with the glass bottles.  I had the extra tablecloth and it was the perfect red to match the paint on all her things.  

*Can you see those mesh wreaths in the next booth - I HATE MESH WREATHS.  But , you know what?  She sold every one but ONE of them.  

Then there's Shara - "Let's take everything we own because then there will be enough for everyone that comes to the Bazaar and there will be no need for fistfights in the area over any vintage or handcrafted goods" attitude.  

OH MY GOD.  I see a bare spot.  I could have crammed something in there.  Dammit.

*I was in that corner for five hours and I never could figure out what in the world was going on with that poster on the wall.  It had styrofoam peanuts and magazine clippings and it made no sense whatsoever.

I filled up the cubbies, stacked things on top and that just wasn't high enough, so I put the angel blow molds on top of that!  Just in case Shaquille O'Neal came  I wanted something at his eye level.

I took all my jewelry.  I have been stymied by why the Feedsack Pendants don't sell as well as I had hoped they would.  They do sell, but I thought they would do better overall.  So, on Friday night at 11:00 I was in the shower and I decided I should call them "Quilt Scraps" instead of Feedsacks.  
So, at midnight, I was making a sign that said "Quilt Scraps".  Seeing as how I was to be up at 6:00, that wasn't the greatest idea.  But, I do like the name and the sign.  

The Bazaar began at 10:00, so we got all set up, ran to the bathroom then came back to man our booths.  Change at the ready, area looking good - ready for the masses.  I looked towards the front door and.......*crickets.  Not a person waiting to get in.  Slowly a few people did come and it was actually sort of steady for the four hours.  Well, for three hours.  Maybe just two and a half hours....ANYWAY.......It was SO weird.

People would come back towards our area and  literally just walk right past Lara's cute trendy wonderful stuff like it wasn't even there.  What the hell were they thinking?  A few would venture into my area but they did a quick one two glance and the left.   Empty handed.  I would hear, "Oh how cute" or "Oh, how neat."  I would see people holding things, but then they would just put it down and walk away.  

In between our area and the area next to us, they had placed the big industrial sized trash can and that was also the only place we could squeeze in a few chairs to sit.  We hadn't planned on sitting, but hellooo...there was nothing to do......no sales......no customers.  We would be sitting there and here would come this big group of people smiling and holding their sample plates of Jalepeno Jelly on a cracker and we would think "Oh good!  Customers!" and then they would walk right up to us and fling their trash over our heads into the trash can and just keep right on walking.  

Also, we noticed that SO many people were carrying these identical shopping bags so I finally asked a lady what everyone was buying.  She opened it to show these Razorback pig ornaments that a lady had made out of a red plastic ornament, red jingle bells, and googly eyes.  It was cute, but the kind of cute like when your third grader makes it school and you HAVE to put it on the Christmas tree, but you kind of stick it in the back so no one can really see it, kind of cute.  Once we saw that, we realized that there was just a different type of clientele coming through those doors.  They weren't going to "get' our stuff.  (We really just told ourselves this so we wouldn't cry.)  I KID!

I did sell some stuff, but not a whole lot.  I sold three necklaces, but not one other thing I made - except for a Magic Santa Skeleton Key, I forgot about that.  I sold those %$#@^& Scrabble words.  WHY do people like those stoopid things?  I mean, I am glad they do, because it is easy money, but gosh, why can't they buy something I MADE or that has vintage character?  Not Scrabble letters that say CARDINALS.  Booooo.  After rent I made $63.00.  Granted, that is money I didn't have before, but it was a LOT of work to set up and haul all that other stuff.

Now, having said all that - I did have fun.  I enjoyed the day.  I was with The Bean and I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Lara.  Bless her heart, after rent, she made $8.00.  I really, really do not understand why people didn't buy her stuff.  In the words of Macklemore - "It is f'ing AWESOME.  I'm surprised she's still speaking to me after all that work for $8.00.  But, I ran into her at an Estate Sale today and she had ample time to bonk me on the head in the basement in retaliation.  But, she didn't!

The good news is that we both have booths and we already priced our things, so all we have to do is take it out there where people GET us and LIKE us and WANT our junk.  It will all be okay.  For the record, we heard through the grapevine that the advertising person for the event flaked out and never did much.  They only had a sign by the road and I guess people just didn't know about it.  They did get $50.00 times thirty vendors, so the fundraising part on their part worked.  It just wasn't great for us vendors.  Now, on the flip side, this is the Bean's graduating class and the same three Moms doing this event were there same three moms (along with me) that used to do the carnival, the PTA, the Hospitality Committee, Teacher Appreciation, etc., etc., etc..  Out of a class of three hundred kids - there are only a handful of parents that help with the events.  It is hard to do it all.  So, I can understand that part too.  

Onward and upward! 

Lara just posted her view too.  I haven't read it yet.  I hope she still likes me! 


  1. Awww! You poor girls! All that work! But WOW your attitude is always so great! And you ALWAYS make me laugh every time I visit!
    What is the deal with mesh wreaths anyway? Total yuck!
    But who am I to talk? Just look at the assortment of tacky things over at my place!
    I'm so glad you were able to have fun despite the poor sales!
    Erica :)

  2. Well, CRAP. Just crap. I absolutely am bored to tears with those MLM booths and would have thought I died and went to heaven when I saw yours & Lara's booth shining like a beacon out of the corner. You're right--some people (plenty of them) just don't GET IT. All of the local high schools here have Christmas boutiques and the vendor fee is cheap but I know that I would absolutely never find my 'audience' there. I think she will do fine because her stuff is cute but so much more mainstream, whereas I will be forking out 3x the fee and hauling my cookies 45 min across town so I can sell amongst the other vintage/handmade lovers. I'm bummed for you guys--even if it wasn't expensive, even if you did sell a few things--it still hurts to invest yourself like that, and then be totally ignored. I get it. Hope it all sells in your booths!

  3. I've had fairs like that in the past too. People shells out for chocolate covered pretzels but not art. At least you made a profit-- a couple times I didn't even get my entry fee back. Boo hoo. Better luck next time!!

    1. Nix that 's' on the end of 'shells.' Sorry. Over tired!

  4. You are too funny. Why would I blame you??? Besides, I really did have fun hanging out with you and The Bean. And now I know that that one sign is popular, so I'll make some more of those. Didn't know that before Saturday! Plus, I got some good display ideas for the booth out of setting up that table. I hadn't had the chance to see how they would display up to that point. Plenty of pluses, despite making no money. I'm so glad you made that much. But, really, why didn't every one of those Christmas pendants sell??? Makes no sense. SO affordable, and so cute I could barely resist shoplifting a few. I would worry about my prices except for yours were SO reasonable, I know that's not why they weren't buying. Oh, well. Can't wait for pictures of your haul from yesterday -- were you pleased when you got home and went through everything?

  5. The last 'craft' show I went to was like this...vendors selling their wares and only a few really crafty things. I would have swooped in to your booth and Lara's and bought for sure. I love her signs! It's hard to understand isn't it.

  6. Sounds like you had a great time, except for the lack of paying customers. I like your attitude.Chalk it up to experience. At least you were inside and it wasn't raining. I traveled to a show at the beach once with my daughter (200 miles) and it rained for two days of the three. Miserable and no money. I sold $8 and it cost me $400
    Your booth looked great, you had great friends and you did a lot of people watching. A great show!!!

  7. Bummer..never fun to go to all that work and not be rewarded. I have done one show in the past that was horrid..horrid..horrid. Great potential,but little if any advertising. I now pretty much cruise a show the prior year before I decide to do it. There are too many dismal shows out there that I just know my audience is not shopping at. Onward to the booth...

  8. anyone that has been a vendor at craft fairs can tell you they are a crapshoot. You have GREAT stuff(Lara too), that is what I go to shows for, not commercial crap I can buy every day. It takes time doing shows here and there to get a feel for where your stuff fits in. I sold at fancy schmancy fairs and little Podunk town fairs. Podunk beat fancy schmancy every time.

  9. I did a similiar sale last year. It was my first (and last) holiday sale at a bazaar like this and my booth was all low priced cute vintage. I sold NOTHING while the avon lady to my left and the "everything is Parisian" lady to my right cleaned up. I have never been so disgruntled in all my life. Live and learn I guess--but I understand the dissapointment!

  10. What a shame. You both worked so hard and to have it turn out so badly just stinks. A learning experience, for sure.

  11. That's crazy! I would have bought a TON of things had I been there!!! I would have swooped in on your area and walked right passed the other stuff! You did a great job...just not the right place! Keep looking-you'll find the right place!!


I love my comments. I'd love to respond to everyone, but if you don't have an email address tied to your ID, please sign your name so I will know who you are! It makes it nice to know who is saying what. Now, leave a comment! Please? ;o)

I Can See You!

Look at my Visitors!

Fellow Junk Followers